African American college students' perceptions of professional dress
Blalock, Emily Carol
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The purpose of this study was to survey African American college students to identify their perceptions of female professional dress. The variables of self-esteem, the importance of clothing, fashion innovativeness, and the type of Land Grant institution or the geographic location of the university the student attended were tested as possible influencers of perception. A total of 251 surveys were completed by African Americans enrolled in two Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) and two predominantly white institutions (PWI) located in Mississippi and Louisiana. Results indicated that there was a significant difference between Mississippi and Louisiana samples, HBCU and PWI subsamples, fashion innovator and fashion follower subsamples, and male and female subsamples in their perception of professional dress. Mean scores indicated that the overall African American sample had a fair understanding of female professional dress, though the entire sample perceived inappropriate fashion-oriented suits as appropriate professional interview attire.